Running Review

As the 2014 summer running comes close to a finish, I thought it might be a good idea to create a summary of events. This makes it easier to look back on earlier races, rather than searching back through the posts. It is located as a separate PAGE on the homescreen, and here’s the link to it. The PAGE will be updated as events are completed and a post has been uploaded.

I have organised it along the following lines;

1. The 11 races in the Ger Wyley summer series

2. Other running races

3. Duathlon / triathlon events.

PS. I’ve been thinking recently. It’s something that happens every now and then! I have received very positive feedback on my recent blogging here on Spring Forward. It occurs to me that there are definitely others out there who are interested in recording their thoughts following an event. I would be very happy to create a GUEST space here on my blog. What would you need to do? Well, I’ve got my way of doing a report, but you’ve got your way! Why not surprise me & my readers? You can contact me via twitter / facebook or a message here, or simply email me at

Not sure that you want to? Well, that’s ok. However, I can be reasonably sure that you’ll be delighted if you do decide to take the plunge..



The Big “C”

There was a time not too long ago in Ireland when the word Cancer was not mentioned out loud. The shortened “Big C” was the phrase used my so many. Thinking about it now, I’m struck by the fact that “BIG” was included. Definitely, it is a BIG disease; for certain it was magnified even further in our society because it was the BIG untreatable in most cases, and surely it developed a larger-than-life meaning for many who suffered and for those who watched loved-ones crumble from health to death.

Today, things are different. Different, but in some ways the same. Even though it is now talked about more freely and because the prognosis for many forms of cancer is so much better, there is still a terror attached to this disease. However, as a society we are becoming more accustomed to challenging our terrors. I have no doubt that a significant aspect of this change is due to our increased understanding of the role of science, and our strong belief that we do possess the means to find the necessary solutions. In this regard, RESEARCH is the key. It’s not just me saying that. We live in times where we now understand that, while it is critical that we provide services for those who have cancer and for their carers, it is equally critical that we focus on our attempts to treat the causes and not the symptoms.

I noticed a link recently to National Breast Cancer Research Institute. They do great work. In fact, recently three members of Dungarvan Cycling Club (Emma, Anthony & Beanie) completed Race The Rás, together with hundreds more, to raise funds for and awareness of breast cancer research.


National Breast Cancer Research Institute. Key words: AWARENESS and RESEARCH

And with that in mind, I turn my thoughts back to Endurance Challenge.  As my preparations for August’s Endurance Challenge 2068 begin in earnest, I thought I’d share my profile with my readers. Having met with Niall at the recent Comeragh Tour in Ballymacarbery, I shared with him my commitment to blog the event. Several days later, following a phone call, I was nominated as a “participant of interest” (god, just imagine……..a retired oul school-teacher!) and I submitted the profile below. The purpose is to help in promoting the event and to encourage others to sign up to take part.

This is a REAL challenge to raise funds for REAL cancer RESEARCH

This is a REAL challenge to raise funds for REAL cancer RESEARCH


My name is Pádraig de Búrca, from County Waterford. I will be at the start line in Armagh in August, and I urge you to consider joining with me (for this section or others of your choosing )and hundreds of others, in our efforts to raise much-needed funds for Breakthrough Cancer Research.
I took to cycling in 1999 after several injuries playing badminton. I am a member and former secretary, PRO and chairman of Dungarvan Cycling Club. While I am competitive, my true enjoyment comes from the many sportives I’ve done. My favourite, of course has to be the Sean Kelly Tour of Waterford, but my seven Wicklow 200’s, Mizen-to-Malin and Alpe d’Huez rank very highly also.
I usually run during the autumn / winter, and recently graduated to several half-marathons. I run (towards the back of the pack) with West Waterford AC. This year I decided to keep both my cycling and running going side-by-side, and when I joined my local Tried & Tested Triathlon Club, I learned to swim in order to take part in their inaugural local triathlon. As soon as this is completed, my focus will shift back to the bike and I will be researching old and new challenges in the run-up to my three-day Tour of Ulster (August 11-13). Definitely on my list is the Tour of Meath in July, and the Tour of Kildare, together with longer spins with my local clubs.
I am a retired primary school principal teacher. When I retired, I had decided not to commit myself to any new ventures for a full six months. I did have some requests, because people know that I work hard when I do make a commitment. Almost to the day, when my six-month moratorium was completed, I spotted a Facebook post about Endurance Cycling 2068. It sat on the back burner for a few weeks, and then I decided to register. Why this one? Well, I will be cycling in memory of my brother-in-law Jim, who died last February. I am thinking that it will be an emotional time for me.
I also made a decision recently to keep an active blog about this event, my training, together with a mish-mash of other bits & pieces. I’d love you to follow me for updates. More importantly, I’d love if you would consider participating in any section of the challenge. You’re not a runner or a cyclist? Well, why not consider organising an event? The good people back in the Midleton office will be only too happy to advise. Sure, if it comes to it, so will I…
It’s likely that many readers have or have had some experience of cancer in their family. This is my opportunity to make a big commitment to a big cause. Finally, I feel that I will get from it more than I give. So could you! Check it at Endurance challenge 2068. As Mrs. Doyle says….go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on…
Go on! Join with us.
Please feel free to make a donation however small to my JustGiving page or

Are you a Twitterer? Follow me @deburcapadraig



I would be very interested in hearing from others who have registered for this event.

Are you a cyclist / runner? Have you or your family been affected by cancer?


Enjoyed this post? Share it on Facebook and Twitter!

FINALLY, if you notice any typos here, please let me know so that I can fix & update.

Taper, my arse!

If you read my last post, you will have known that I intended doing the Tried & Tested Triathlon Club 20k TT this evening. Furthermore, I had intended doing it sensibly, as the Dungarvan Triathlon is only nine days away and my hard training is finished. But….it did not go to plan.


Ballyvoile on a summer evening. Bikers going too fast to be caught on camera! (c. Meabh)

On a beautiful warm summer evening again, I was at the “crooked bridge” and decided to give it 100%. Why? I don’t know really. Maybe some overflowing testosterone (I’m allowed to say that, coz tis my flippin blog!) but mainly because I need to have an indication of where I’m at. I had hoped to do this event for the past few Thursdays, but Thursdays is not a good day for me as my family all meet up for tea and a catch-up. Also, whenever I do the brick workout on Tuesdays, I figure it’s a bridge too far (and not sensible, to boot…) to do two extremely hard workouts within 48 hours.

Garmin metric info

Garmin metric info


Strava info the old-fashioned way. I usually prefer this.

Anyways, shortly AFTER starting, I gave it welly. Looking back at it on Strava, I had several section PB’s and KOM’s, and was really really thrilled with my pace. And I know I have more in me. What was interesting was that I was not able to get my HR to where it can be maintained for the duration. This tells me, of course, that the oul body is a wee bit tired, and with sensible rest and fresh legs on Saturday week, I’ll know what’s possible. Mind you, there’s a big unknown in the equation. How will I manage the TT after swimming 750 metres? Well, I’ll update you after next week. In the meantime, I’m going to approach it in my most positive frame-of-mind. Even though I’ll find the swim very tough, I have two things in my favour. 1. When I get on the bike, I’ll definitely be well warmed-up and 2. My HR will be high enough to go hard from the start. I do realise this is my FIRST triathlon, so there’s a chance that my best-laid plans might come to an abrupt halt! It’s important though, to visualise the best-case-scenario.

My clock time for the 20k TT was 36:52 That works out at 20.3mph / 32.6kmph.


Incidentally, looking back through this post, the title may be open to various interpretations! However, Meabh noted that the comma in “Taper, my arse” saved me from further embarrassment.


Finally, here’s a good post-TT tip: three Guinness in the Lady Belle, Dungarvan, watching the highlights of England’s unfortunate defeat to Uruguay.

Scoreline England 1 – Luiz Suarez 2.

Report from The Irish Times and another from BBC Sport.

Do you ride bike time-trials? Let’s compare / contrast…

Are you an England fan? Perhaps a Uruguayan fan? Will Chile be the 2014 dark horses? Share your thoughts please…

Triathlon Taper

The training is all done. I’m ready now for the Dungarvan Triathlon on Saturday, June 28th. I have worked hard since early spring, learning to swim, and competing in several bike and running events to get me to where I need to be. My task now is to ease up quite a bit to be fresh  for the big day.

I will participate in tomorrow’s club brick session at Ballyvoile. However, I will go gently. Not completely easy, though. My plan is to push the bike section very hard on the short hill, and ease up for the rest of the lap. on the run section, I intend to go hard uphill, and very easy back down. I’ve got a swim on Wednesday, and bike time-trial on Thursday. Again, I will concentrate on short hard efforts followed by easy-paced recovery. There’s a 5-mile run on Friday night, and this will be my last hard run.

Bring it on!


Completed events 2014:


  • Naas Duathlon (run / bike / run)
  • Dungarvan John Treacy 10 (run)


  • Kilmac 5 (run)


  • Cycling week Gran Canaria
  • Ballinroad 5k (run)


  • Butlerstown Duathlon (run / bike / run)
  • Butlerstown 4 (run)
  • Ballyvoile Brick #1 (bike / run / bike / run)





In addition, I biked (occasionally) with Dungarvan Cycling Club, and with Tried & Tested Triathlon Club. Challenging, training & leisure spins.


Footnote: I WILL get around to doing a post on all the above events. Just at the minute, they’re coming at me faster than I can cope with! Winter is a great time for writing. In summer, I gotta take the chance to get out doing them!


Portlaw, Pieta, Clonea & Giro d’Italia

In the space of just over twelve hours, I’ve completed a trio of important firsts, and I feel that this deserves a blog post! Firstly, at 7.30pm yesterday (Friday 9th) I ran the Portlaw 5, went to the Dungarvan Darkness into Light walk at 4am, and finished it all off with an invigorating swim in Clonea to baptise my new wetsuit. In between, I grabbed a few hours shut-eye, and several hours good sound sleep after midday!
The Portlaw 5 mile event was very well organised. Very thoughtfully, the organisers Carrick AC had us running downhill for the first mile, and this contributed in no small way to my PB time 43:55, beating my previous best by nearly two minutes. However, I am going to give myself some credit for this, as I gave it socks all the way round, finishing well satisfied with my efforts.Then, onwards home in very heavy rain after delicious food & coffee provided by the organisers. My goal now is to lose about ten pounds in an all-out assault on a possible season best in July or August. I’m taking bets on 42:00, to complete my first full season running.
I arrived home to further heavy rain and got a few hours sleep (interrupted by a mini-dream of running 41:00 later in the summer). On then to event two: my family & friends descended on St. Augustine’s College for the 2014 Darkness into Light walk at 3:30am, and to listen to Conor Cusack speak about the importance of seeking help when one’s mental and emotional state requires it. Help is out there, quite often from a close friend or family member; but it is important to take the brave step of unmasking and being somewhat vulnerable. Furthermore, Conor  spoke of the duty we have to be aware of the small signs that a friend or acquaintance is trying to reach out for help, and perhaps just on the verge of being unable to so so. And then we walked the 5k route back to Abbeyside, returning along the beautiful Deise Greenway to Barnawee and a cup of hot coffee at Duckspool. The dawn had come, and ready we were to face a new day! I felt the great solidarity that comes with being part of something so important, something bigger than myself, a symbolic gesture of commitment to the aims of Pieta House and those persons who my need to avail of the help they provide. I am conscious that I am not immune from such a situation, as should we all. For tonight, I was grateful to be able to lend my moral support to this wonderful cause, so much so that when I arrived home just after 6am I resolved to write about it and share my thoughts. It is this sharing of thoughts and words that is helping to lessen considerably the stigma once associated with suicide and mental illness here in Ireland. In this respect many thousands of people and several good organisations are to the forefront in encouraging a cultural sea-change. I’m thinking specifically of the Cycle Against Suicide group who are nearing the end of the massive 14-day, 1400km circuit of Ireland, speaking to teenagers at every stop along the way. Shoulder to Shoulder…

Two down, one to go. So, after a further few short hours of sleep, I embarked upon my first sea-swim with Tried & Tested Triathlon Club at Clonea. Blustery conditions awaited us for our dip at 10:30am, but in no way lessened our enjoyment of the time in the waves. There was very little swimming, because of the rough conditions, but I succeeded in baptising my new wet-suit, and had lots of fun in the process.

Home. Food. Sleep. Feet up. Tomorrow the Giro d’Italia arrives in Dublin and I have every intention of being there with my pink wig!

Footnote: Yes, the pink wig got another outing as the Giro d’Italia came to Dublin.

Feet stuck to the road
Picture copyright @FriaryCollege